McCormick and Schmick's in the Howard Hughes Center isn't the kind of place you'd normally associate with frugality, but their happy hour menu is priced for the seafood lover on a budget. At their bar from 3:30-6:30 and 9:30-11 Monday through Friday you can feast on an assortment of finger foods ranging from $1.95 to $4.95, as long as you meet their $3.50 minimum beverage purchase per person. A half pound cheeseburger is just $2.95, but if you are coming here you should probably try some of their underwater offerings. We started with Blackened Fish Tacos ($3.95) which were perfectly adequate for the price, but unfortunately not blackened as advertised. There wasn't a ton of fish either, and the tortillas took up most of the space on the plate, but that is to be expected. On the other hand the calamari tentacles with sherry aioli, or Spider Fries ($3.95), were one of the better values on the menu and were surprisingly tender and plump. We also ordered one of the two healthy items on the menu, the Grilled Artichoke with sundried tomato aioli ($4.95). The presentation was appealing, but unfortunately it didn't taste as good as it looked. It was a bit bland and under seasoned, but at least it was green and wasn't deep fried. Other offerings include Beer Battered Mushrooms ($1.95), Fried Cod Sliders ($3.95), and Chefs Choice Oysters (three for $4.95). The menu changes regularly, but at any give time there are around fifteen options. On Wednesdays you can get $1.00 oysters and a mini Shrimp Boil for $3.95, so I'd like to come back to take advantage of that.
The drink specials are pretty good, too, depending on the day. We went on Hoppy Thursdays, when domestic light beer on draft is available for $2.95 (only a real bargain if you're comparing it to the Strip), but I would recommend going on Tuesday Tini night when all martinis are only $5. On Sundays you can try their adorable martini flights from 5:00-10:00, but unfortunately you won't get to try any of their food at a discount.
There are a lot of happy hours around town, but McCormick and Schmick's is definitely one of the better ones. The bar is sophisticated and intimate, and there is an outdoor patio in case the weather is ever forgiving enough during the happy hour time of day. Basically, you won't leave hungry or broke, and you won't have to sit in a fast food restaurant to accomplish that feat.
Grilled Artichoke: 5
Spider Fries: 7.5
Blackened Fish Tacos: 5.5
Would I go back?: YES. DINNER FOR TWO WITH DRINKS FOR UNDER $20 IN A NICE SPACE IS WORTH GOING BACK TO.